Patricia Clarkson, FCLC ’82, won a Golden Globe Sunday night for her chilling and nuanced performance in Sharp Objects, HBO’s miniseries based on the Gillian Flynn novel of the same title. In it, Clarkson plays the matriarch of a troubled family of three daughters—one deceased—in a small town where a young girl has recently been murdered.

It was the second Golden Globe nomination and first win for the actress, who has earned two Emmy Awards and received Tony and Oscar nominations during a career on stage and screen that spans four decades.

In a joyful and funny acceptance speech—which she opened with “Hot damn!”—Clarkson dedicated the award to her parents in her native New Orleans. Later, in a press conference, she explained how her upbringing and her parents’ support give her the strength to take on emotionally challenging roles.

“I think I’m able to play these incredibly compromised, fractured, brutal women characters because I had a beautiful life growing up,” she said. “And I actually think that feeds you in an odd juxtaposition, in an odd way.”

Clarkson, who was inducted into Fordham’s Hall of Honor in 2016 and received an honorary degree from Fordham in 2018, has gotten rave reviews from audiences and critics alike for her work in Sharp Objects. She told The New York Times that many of the show’s viewers have stopped her in the street to discuss her character. And Variety praised her ability to make audiences feel for someone who inflicts trauma: “The woman could have been just a one-note monster … but Clarkson ensured there were complicated layers to peel back not only with every episode but every scene.”

“She’s a character that I love still,” Clarkson said during the press conference, “with all of her foibles, all of her faults, all of her troubles. I still love her.”


Alexandra Loizzo-Desai can be reached at [email protected] or 212-636-6536.